The big news this week was the big unveiling of the Mass Effect remaster. It is a series which defined a generation, and is going to be returning with plenty of lens flare and a bit less sexualisation of FemShep. There’s a lengthy interview on Eurogamer which is very much worth a read.
If you want some other Sunday reading, I’d point you in the direction of this GI.biz article which looks into the broader consequences of Google’s decision to close their internal Stadia development teams. Streaming certainly has a future, but what it looks like is still very much up for debate.
And now, on with Our Week in Games.
My week of games has nearly been entirely Hitman related, but I’ve also picked up Slay the Spire on my mobile. I’ve heard many great things about the game, and with my limited time playing it so far I can see why it received such high praise.
Over on the Hitman side of things I wrote some thoughts on whether the series should have stayed with an episodic release schedule, an article which got a lot of derision on news aggregate site n4g. Even if keeping the releases episodic was never a realistic proposition with IO Interactive switching publishers for the first two games of the trilogy, it cannot be denied that the way the games have been released has been something of a mess.
Although the issues with importing levels into Hitman 3 on PC are soon to be resolved, there are still fundamental problems with the idea of importing old levels into new games and the structure of the releases. Despite Hitman 2 being released as a single game, after buying it on the PlayStation store I was unable to access any levels beyond the New Zealand opener. It makes no sense that I was able to buy Hitman 3, import levels from the first two games and only then he able to play the Hitman 2 levels. Bonkers.
This week Steam kicked off a brand new game festival, showcasing a large number of work in progress games with limited time demo access. Aside from pirating a game, a demo is often the only way that people can see if it’ll work on their system, so I’m over the moon to see the platform embracing a revival of demos as a concept, even if they are bizarrely restricted to the small time window of the festival itself.
Though I’ve not had time to dive into the majority of demos on offer, Hidden Deep did catch my eye, mostly due to its decription as ‘(a) tribute to many 80’s and 90’s games and movie classics, especially Aliens, The Thing, and the first Half-Life.’ It’s a slow-paced and highly atmospheric 2D exploration game where death can come extremely quickly due to a misplaced jump, a clumsy fall or having your head devoured by a giant ceiling-worm. It’s currently a one-man project being created by Łukasz Kałuski, so I hope he’s able to bring it to a conclusion that maintains the quality and atmosphere of the demo release.